Jacko



Jacko, one of Liverpool’s great characters,

is worth seeking out.

He strums his cut-out cardboard guitar

with sketched on strings

through the streets of Liverpool

with the skill of a classical guitarist.

Jacko starts his day of devotional exercise by tuning-up.

Dink-a-dink in one key. Dink-a-dink in another,

guttural sounds come forth from his mouth

with the gusto of a duck with an adenoid problem,

till he shouts “Have your requests ready” then he’s all set.


This very likeable man has the lived-in face

of someone who has been to the edge,

looked over, didn’t like what he saw

and came back.

With the toughness of ancient footwear

and sea-grass textured beard,

that you know cover a multitude of lines,


Jacko does what he has to do to get through his day.

The yellowing of his moustache gives some indication

where his mouth is.

White ash from his cigarettes covers his chest and belly

like a blizzard,

His most appealing and redeeming feature, his eyes,

have the innocence of youth, the experience of age

and the gleam of a rascal.


Not being able to play or to sing does not deter him.

He still uses his talents to entertain in a most proficient way.

It is wonderful to see a person, with such a creative mind,

put it to good use.

What other place on this terrestrial globe

could have produced someone like Jacko

and not laugh out loud at the humour of it all?

Legend has it, that Liverpool humour being what it is;

somebody put a cut-out cardboard fifty pence piece
in his hat.

The screams from Jacko, still echo through the City today.

By Jim Connolly